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911 emergency hotline coming to Cebu City soon

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 26,2024 - 11:53 AM

calling 911


CEBU CITY, Philippines — The 911 emergency response hotline will soon be available in Cebu City.

During a press conference on May 24 at Cebu City Hall, Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia and Next Generation Advanced 911 (NGA 911) Country Manager Robert Llaguno demonstrated a process.

Llaguno explained that in the Philippines, when someone calls 911, the operator asks for details like their location, barangay, landmarks, and area before connecting them to emergency responders.

“In our case, the moment that you actually pick up the call, you are able to access its location immediately. So, this is actually accessing the location via a Wi-Fi at the moment. But eventually, we would be utilizing Fiber with at least two redundancy systems or two redundancy circuits for Cebu City,” Llaguno said.

“This ensures that whatever happens, the command center will be the last institution that will go down. Even if all communication networks are down, the system can still coordinate efforts,” he added.

Identifies location of closest responders

Their system not only pinpoints the caller’s location but also locates the nearest responders. This feature will soon be accessible in Cebu City.

“In the States, 90 percent of our calls [are] answered within 10 seconds. On the first minute, the dispatcher is already being sent out. Even without knowing the location or what the emergency is. While en route, they start receiving the messages, the instructions, the incidents, the case, and the caller’s information,” Llagono added.

Furthermore, the call handling system records all call history. Llaguno mentioned that a current concern is dealing with prank or abandoned calls.

“We have a rules engine that would also allow you that if this particular prank has called three or four or five times, we can then route it to a separate queue. So, instead of say they are asking for an ambulance or a rescue and you send and ambulance to a fake call, you will now be sending actually a police officer at the precise location of the caller,” said Llaguno.

Through their systems, the callers will also be able to track the activities of their responders digitally. They are also capable of receiving instant messages.

Llaguno said that they partnered with AWS (Amazon Web Services) for their data centers, and Google’s emergency location service for their location capabilities.

“NGA 911 is a live solution. We are already replacing the Legacy System in the United States. It’s IOT (Internet of Things) capable so we are also able to ingress not only calls, landlines, but we are also able to integrate your CCTV systems,” the country manager added.

With the presentation, Engr. Dante Arcilla, Jr., head of the Management Information and Computer Services (MICS), is hopeful that the system will be ready in time for the hosting of the Palarong Pambansa 2024 slated in July.

To be operated by CCDRRMO

Arcilla said that it will be operated by the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO).

According to the Public Information Office, Cebu City is the first local government in Visayas to avail of this service.

According to Llaguno, All calls when dialing 911 are “free” which is also in accordance with former president Rogrido Duterte’s Executive Order No. 56 which institutionalized 911 as the nationwide emergency answering point, replacing Patrol 117.

On the same day, Acting Mayor Garcia issued a notice to proceed with NGA 911 in establishing the city’s emergency response system.

Garcia also acknowledged suspended Mayor Michael Rama since this started under the latter’s administration.

“I would like to congratulate MICS, headed by Dax, for spearheading this initiative. We also acknowledge Mayor Mike, since this was started sa iyang panahon,” Garcia said.

Arcilla said that a budget of P9 million has been approved for the 911 system. This will include all necessary equipment and infrastructure to establish the system. The city will then pay a monthly fee of close to P3 million for the system.

NGA 911 has already provided its services to other local governments in the country such as Morong, Rizal; Alaminos, Pangasinan; and Cagayan de Oro.

Last May 6, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) launched the emergency 911 command center in Rizal. 

With the opening of the E911 command center, citizens of Morong will now be able to use the emergency 911 hotline instead of the current ten-digit number for emergency calls.

“There is a growing number [of LGUs] shifting to Next Generation 911 and we are seeing a lot of local chief executives prioritizing public safety [for their constituents],” Laguno said during the system’s launch in Morong. | with a report from Zacarian Sarao – Reporter , INQUIRER.Net


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TAGS: 911, Cebu City, cebu news

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